Hitchcock pleased with Blues’ unselfish play, among other things

Ken Hitchcock's Blues followed a 1-5-1 funk with three consecutive wins, a run during which they've outscored foes 20-4.

Ross D. Franklin/AP

There doesn’t appear to be any slowing down the St. Louis Blues, who are enjoying their highest-scoring three-game stretch in 24 seasons.

Looking to stay hot, the Blues try to continue their home success against the last-place Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

St. Louis has followed a 1-5-1 funk with three consecutive wins, a run during which it’s outscored foes 20-4. The Blues (25-13-3) are the first team to score at least 20 goals over three games since Carolina from March 3-7, 2009, and it’s their first such span since totaling 22 from Jan. 25-29, 1991.

St. Louis beat San Jose 7-2 for the second time in six days Thursday while sandwiching a 6-0 win at Arizona in between. Jaden Schwartz notched a career high-tying three assists in the second of those victories over the Sharks as seven players scored for the Blues.

"Not since I’ve been here, no, I haven’t (seen it)," forward T.J. Oshie said. "But without scoring the goals, if a couple of those go off the post and out, we’re still playing great hockey, we’re still getting pucks deep, we’re still working for each other."

Oshie finished with a goal and an assist, giving him six and seven during a seven-game point streak. Alexander Steen has 11 points in the last five games while David Backes, who scored four times against the Coyotes, has nine.

Schwartz recently missed seven games with a foot injury, but he’s racked up four goals and six assists during a six-game point streak. The Blues have won eight straight and 22 of their last 28 with Schwartz on the ice.

"Really unselfish hockey is what is evident to me right now in a lot of things we’re doing," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "When you are unselfish, you come off the ice at the right time, you change at the right time, you leave your teammate in a good spot, you’re going to have success. To me, the goals are a result of the way we’re playing. We’re playing the right way and it’s having a big impact on keeping the group together."

The Blues should like their chances of keeping things going against the Hurricanes, who are 3-10-2 with one tie in their last 16 visits to St. Louis. Carolina has managed four wins in 22 road games after scoring eight goals during a 1-7-0 slide as the visiting team.

While the Hurricanes (13-24-4) have won three of four, each of those victories came at home. They recorded their second-highest scoring total of the season in Thursday’s 5-2 win over a Buffalo team that’s allowed the league’s most goals.

Jiri Tlusty, Eric Staal and Victor Rask scored over a 79-second span late in the second period to break things open for Carolina, which had scored two goals or fewer in nine straight games and 17 of its previous 18.

"I hope this is foreshadowing moving forward as far as the offense goes, that we can get beyond two and score some goals," coach Bill Peters told the league’s official website.

Cam Ward finished with 18 saves, improving to 3-8-1 over his last 12 starts despite a 2.18 goals-against average. He is 5-1-1 with a 1.54 GAA and two shutouts against the Blues, last facing them in 2012.

Brian Elliott has stopped 65 of 69 shots while starting St. Louis’ last three games. The NHL leader with a 1.81 GAA, Elliott is 6-1-0 with a 1.44 mark in his last eight home starts.

He has a 1.94 GAA in winning his two starts versus Carolina in St. Louis.